There is so much truth to the saying that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In fact, when it comes to estate planning, I believe it is accurate to say that an ounce of prevention is worth much more than a pound of cure. When a crisis arises, if there has been no preparation, there may not be a cure.
In the world of estate planning, a crisis can arise in many ways. The most obvious example is the unexpected passing of a loved one. But what about a stroke, a serious fall or even the diagnosis of a life altering health condition? At that point, important options may evaporate.
When clients come to me in a crisis situation, we do everything we can to assist in a cost-effective and compassionate way. However, there are usually far fewer options available at that point. Those options are typically more costly because they require immediate and dramatic action. However, if I can help people be educated about these issues before a crisis arises, it is much more likely that they will be prepared and protected from the issues that concern them most.
It is not at all true that estate planning must be expensive or complicated. But proper estate planning should ask questions that may be challenging. For example, what happens if one spouse becomes disabled and the other is unable to provide the necessary care? What happens when the first spouse passes, especially if the survivor is disabled? How can spouses (or a surviving spouse) ensure the estate they spent a lifetime building is properly used after they are gone? These are not necessarily easy questions to consider or discuss.
However it is the willingness to address uncomfortable questions, before the issues arise, that allows for solutions many people do not even know exist. Unfortunately, those options may not exist once the problem arises. Take the first step to proper estate planning and learn about the options available to you.
© 2016 Steven J Wright
Tags: estate planning